>> all this week on the new expanded real money with ali velshi helping you balance your finances and your life. now an hour, starting at 7 eastern / 4 pacific only on al jazeera america ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello and welcome to the al jazeera news hour, live from our global headquarters in doha, these are the stories we are covering this hour. more than 200 people are killed in the south sudan town and blames rebel groups. the u.s. examples allegations that toxic chemicals have been used in syria. this is the scene right now in kiev where u.s. vice president joe biden is trying to ease tensions between ukraine and
russia. i'm here with the day's sport including he lasted ten months and we will have reaction to the news that manchester united sacked david moines. ♪ u.n. has accused south sudan rebels of massacring hundreds of people. piles of bodies have littered the streets of the oil town of bentu since the killings last week and battling forces loyal to the former president and they told al jazeera his troops were not behind the attack. let's go straight to anna who is in the south sue dan capital duba and what are we hearing and how are people dealing with this? >> reporter: well, we came back to duba from bentu yesterday and found a town that was first of
all almost empty of civilians so to say people are dealing with this are not doing it in bentu and most went to the neighboring the town. but what we did see while we were there is the aftermath of the massacre that took place in a mosque and many people were killed and the town exchanged hands and a battle between government and rebel forces but 800 people sheltering inside a mosque and 200 people were slaughtered. >> reporter: no preparations of what was to come and so many dead bodies and the construction equipment was used to move them. outside the gates of the mosque there was another pile of bodies either dragged there or killed together. the stench of death was overwhelming even for the rebel soldiers standing guardian people were butchered in the
mosque where muslims and peer from dofor and sudan sought sanctuary and 120 people were killed in a massacre in the mosque and shortly after filming the pictures we were told by the u.n. the real number of people killed in the mosque is over 200 out of 800 trying to hide there and like other towns it has changed hands several times since fighting between government soldiers and rebel groups began in december and people from dofor are targeted for a specific reason because rebels from sudan are commonly believed to be fighting along the south sudan army. >> what is going on here is disgraceful and what we have seen in the bentu town is ul tearily horrible and beyond direction. >> reporter: a lot of people left the town and headed to u.n. base for safety. it forced a million people from their homes now and most of them are dependent on food aid. the food and agriculture
organization warned that next year south sudan will experience a widespread famin and the only thing that can prevent it is an end to the fighting. the u.n. accused rebel forces of killing civilians based on ethnicity, a charge the rebel commander in the area denies and told us his forces had killed government soldiers but denied all knowledge of the killings in the mosque. so since that report has come out and since these pictures have gone to air they are all over the internet. the former vice president now leader of this rebel opposition army has come out and denied responsibility for the attack. he said that he has spoken to his rebel commander on the ground and this is what he had to say. >> translator: i contacted the field military commander in bentu and told me such accusation is false. first of all we respect our people and the majority of the forces are from the region and we can't kill our citizens.
>> reporter: what will happen that day is being investigated as part of a widespread human rights investigation carried out by the u.n. and in time i hope it's possible to finds out who was responsible for this attack. >> thanks for that and anna in duba there. and we will tell you a bit more about bentu and it was seized of a defensive against the government and it's one of only two oil-producing states in south sudan. it's been a major flash point and changed hands several times since the fighting began in december and they are crucial for rebels who want to seize oil fields in an attempt to destabilize the company and makes up 90% of the revenue. and dozens of muslims in central african republic have fled from the capitol fearing attack by christian rebels and the group
is north of bongi to the town of bombari controlled by muslim fighters and thousands have fled since last year and a coup will rerooif in september as part of efforts to restore stability. the u.s. is investigating investigations that a chemical attack injured civilians in the hama province earlier this month and shows dozens of people struggling to breathe in the town of the hama province and rebels blamed each other for the attack and the u.s. is investigating if the syrian government was behind it. washington has also denounced syria's newly announced presidential election. president assad called a vote for june the third promised by constitutional referendum in 2012 and candidates have to have lived in syria for the last 10 years, they can't have foreign
passports, that rules out many opposition figures and let's speak to a professor of middle east and politics and relations at the london school of economics and good to have you with us. the u.s. of course has condemned the planned presidential election in syria as a parody of democracy. what is in it for president assad? >> well, i mean, it's not just the u.s., widespread condemnation of the decision, the u.n., the european union, the americans, basically question the rationality and the wisdom of the holding of presidential elections, first what do you do with almost 9 million syrians who are refugees or displaced? how do you basically account for the votes? holding presidential elections would mean the end of any political process would mean the end of geneva two and even though geneva two now is basically almost paralyzed.
i think that the decision itself reflects the mindset of the syrian leadership. president assad believes he is winning, that basically they could win this particular conflict and it's only president assad who could really basically put syria back together and that's why probably it's the main, the only presidential candidate on the third of june, probably syrians inside syria but it's a third presidential term for president assad. >> so if this is as you say a sign that he is no longer interested in any kind of peace process, it's the end of the geneva process, that does mean that the war will be prolonged. is there any pressure that any western countries can bring to bear to change the situation? >> well, first of all, if the presidential election takes place on the third of june, it
really would mean that the end of the political process. this would be a prolonged war that would last at least seven years because the next mandate of president assad would be another 7 years and i done think the powers have the will or the desire to intervene directly inside syria. as you well know, basically the differences between russia and the united states complicate any particular decision on the part of the western powers and that's why international diplomacy now is basically frozen. there is a stalemate both political diplomatic stalemate and also a military stalemate. let me make the point very clear, even though the syrian government has basically made some major gains in the last one year, there is a military stalemate inside syria. neither the government nor the opposition can deliver a decisive blow but president assad believes he can finish the
battle t in 12 months in syria and he is the only salvation forci forcier -- for, syria. >> and it's part of the chemical arsenal from syria the u.s. will investigate the allegations and do you think anything will come of that? >> absolutely. i think, first of all, western and american officials say they have allegations and they have indications. they have to be verified and basically the allegations, in fact, in the past month several incidents whereby toxic gasses have been used in several towns inside syria. i think the obama administration, if the evidence is verified, i would argue the obama administration will come under tremendous pressure from inside the united states to take a strong action. there is a big debate unfolding within the obama administration about what to do if the evidence
concludes that basically toxic gasses even though they are not under the russian, american chemicals deal in syria the administration would have to be pressed very hard in order to take strong actions even though there is not consensus with the american administration of what to do at this particular moment. >> good to get your thoughts and thank you very much and he is speaking to us from london. now there have been two separate attacks on police in northwestern pakistan. at least three police were killed in a bomb attack targeting their vehicle in a busy market in the town of chasada and happened after another attack on the out skirts that killed a policeman and a civilian. protests are held in india kashmir after three people were shot death and victims were two politicians south of the regional capitol and it happened a day before a new round of voting in india's general election. dozens of suspected al-qaeda
fighters have been killed in a series of u.s. drone attacks in yemen at least 68 fighters and commanders are thought to have been killed over several days. and the u.s. is trying to destroy al-qaeda strongholds in the peninsula. u.s. appeals court ordered the government to reveal details of a controversial drone strike in yemen and an american citizen was targeted by a drone in 2011 and federal appeals court says the legal justification for the killing, they want to know. the trial of detained journalists resumed in a court in cairo and greste and fahmy and mohamed and have been behind bars for 115 days and the fourth journalist in detention is held without trial since last august and we report. >> journalists for al jazeera appear in court for the 6th time
and peter greste, producers fahmy and mohamed have been in jail for more than three months. they are falsely accused of spreading news and providing a platform for the out lawed muslim brotherhood. during the last hearing the prosecution produced video that says supports the case against the man but none of the videos have anything to do with the case. this video, for example, was by greste on the attack of west gate mall last year and the court was also shown this report and award winning documentary on somali that greste produced for bbc before he joined al jazeera but the judge ordered a special panel to review the material presented by the prosecution. and the fourth al jazeera journalist in detention has been held in egypt for more than nine months and has been on hunger
strike since january 21st. his detention was extended by 45 days on march the 13th. he has recently sent a letter from prison that expresses his feelings. >> i have a responsibility on my shoulders, it's to complete documenting stories of people here as much as possible and stay stead fast and ask god on hope to be home with my family before the 5th of may to celebrate my birthday. >> reporter: his parents are concerned about his health. >> translator: i would like to remind journalists and rights activists my son is risking his life to press for his relief and defend journalists' freedom and fighting for a cause. he wants to stop the practice of intimidating, arresting and killing journalists all over the world. >> reporter: the trial of the al jazeera journalists has attracted global attention. advocacy groups and governments all condemned the trial.
al jazeera strongly rejects all the charges and continues to call for the immediate release of its team. and i'm with al jazeera. >> well there is more to come on the al jazeera news hour and more than a month after the devastating mudslide in washington we report from all town in california waiting for the next catastrophic event. kiev and washington accuse moscow of interfering in eastern ukraine we report from a separatist region where many want to become part of russia. >> and i'm matt in madrid where two championship league games are about to shut the city down. ♪ now, italy's navy says it picked up a thousand migrants on boats off the coast of sicily in 48 hours and the pictures show the moment they were met by italian
authorities in the mediterranean see and 20,000 people have attempted to reach italy by sea so far this year, an extremely dangerous journey. u.s. vice president told politicians in kiev his country stands with him of what he calls humiliating threats and met the acting president in a show of support and offered to help ukraine become energy independent so it doesn't have to rely on russia gas but the visit is over shadowed by tensions in the east. and right now this is the scene in kiev where we are waiting for the u.s. vice president to speak following his meeting with ukraine's acting prime minister and we will bring you the conference when it happens live on al jazeera. we released photos of russian troops working under cover in eastern ukraine and used by russian forces and russia denies
it is operating in east ukraine and al jazeera cannot independently verify the images. predicting the next move is a daily occurrence in the separatist region which borders ukraine and david met some of the people who hope they will join the russian federation. >> reporter: majority of the population live in village's like this one. ethnic backgrounds here might be complex but the opinions and the language are very much shared. 111 street we met lydia, an 86-year-old grandmother from ukraine and the moldovian social worker who cares for her. lydia is a soviet war veteran with metals to prove it and she gets a special supplement from the kremlin. >> translator: i miss the times and it was great and work and earn enough money and today it's
a mess. >> reporter: the kremlin also provides cut price gas and petrol and people in kiev would eye with, envy. >> translator: we hope russia will see the independence and we are strangled from ukraine recording trouble for us. >> reporter: in the nearby village the congregation celebrating an easter monday service was made up in equal portions of ethnic russians, ukraine and moldovians and this is the saints of marriages. we met a bulgarian who teaches art in the school where lessons are held in russian and maldovian. >> translator: children are given free lunches thanks to russia and fund many social services. >> reporter: the banks of the river were filled with people enjoying a holiday barbecue.
i joined one family to sound out their opinions. >> translator: ukraine say where russia enters things get worse but it's quite the opposite. people are living much better than madlova. >> reporter: there is a website which lists putin's achievements in the kremlin which is popular here and says he paid back $400 billion of foreign debt and hosted the most successful olympics in history. and, oh, yes, he took back crimea. and putin's move is popular here and signed a new law relaxing requirements to get a russian passport. you have to be fluent in russian or live in the former soviet union. i'm with al jazeera. >> more than 100 bodies have now been recovered from a south korean ferry that sank last week. over 190 people are still missing, many of them children. harry faucet has the latest on the recovery operation.
>> reporter: they want to take the children home to give them a funeral but they have to wait and watch as each newly-discovered body is on the white board with clothing and distinguishing features and more than a 100 and counting and it's classified as rescue effort goes on and diving crews feeling the way of the ship to get to the areas where most of the trapped passengers are thought to remain. this accident has thrown up questions about safety standards and regulation and enforcement across south korea shipping industry and the government on tuesday instructed shipping companies to carry out safety checks saying if it's necessary inspectors would turn up anonymously and unannounced. and they were not subject to any external inspection and merely needed to submit documents and this excellent company appears to be spending little on training its staff. >> translator: according to the annual report for last year it
spent just $500 on staff training, looking at that we can say they didn't spend any money on education including crew member safety training. >> reporter: the student passenger's hometown family of survivors said the investigation could wait and called on the media to report more accurately and less invasively and the government to move faster. >> translator: please understand the hearts of the parents who want to go in the water to search for their trapped children themselves and condemning the response of the government. >> reporter: among the bodies brought ashore on tuesday is of kim and on saturday her mother told al jazeera her fate was in god's hands. the father, who had been sustaining himself by challenging authorities spoke of his guilt for not telling her to get off the ship. at least now they can take their daughter home so many others are
still waiting nearly one week on. harry faucet, al jazeera, jindo, south korea. >> the number of people suffering from skin cancer is soaring in the united kingdom and five% of people develop skin cancer every year compared to the 1970s and greger wood has more. >> reporter: people who don't see much sun the british are famous for chasing it when it shines but this comes at a high price. the latest figures reveal skin cancer is the 5th most common in the uk and rates are five times higher than 40 years ago. today, 13,000 people are diagnosed each year compared to only 1800 in 1975. that is 17 out of every 100,000 compared with 3 out of every 100,000 back in the 70s. 2000 people now die of it every year. the dramatic rise is partly due to the huge increase in
affordable foreign holidays and in the 70s two weeks in the sun was a habit of pale skin brits and she was one of them, a classic sun worshipper who later developed skin cancer. >> when i was young everyone was the same, we were care free and went out in the sun and layout in the sun for hours and hours. people often got really burnt, very burnt. i didn't burn very easily and there for i probably stayed in the sun longer to get a deep tan. i was famous in the family for my tan which lasted almost all year until the next summer. >> reporter: fully recovered now and still a fan of the sun. but much more careful. back in the day we didn't know about the harmful effects of the sun and in britain it didn't seem relevant and sun cream wasn't good and not available and we know a lot more now but despite that when the sunshines here people still tend to rush to the nearest park to top off
on the uv. >> i think it's very difficult when we are seeing in the media pictures of celebrities on beaches and having an idea that a tan is glamorous and a happy glow and being sun burnt is anything but happy. >> reporter: it has been loud and clear for sometime but the message is not getting through to everyone and sun bed use is still on the rise, a dark tan is for many a thing to aspire to despite the increasingly obvious dangers, simon mc-greger with al jazeera, london. >> richard is here with the weather and richard this is a terrible thing, we cry out for more sunshine in the united kingdom and turns it it can be pretty bad for you. >> life is not fair. bottom line is you don't get much sunshine in the uk, i thought i would show you on the world map the sunnyist places and most of the really sunny places are sub tropical desert
and u.s. and arizona and middle east and africa. that is where it's sunny. this is 10-11 hours of sunshine. zoom into northern parts of europe and it's a very, very different picture and london and further north and it decreases and average of 4.1 hours of sunshine. yet you head to the holy destinations and you can double that quite easy and see plus of course during the wintertime uk is actually very dark for much of the time. hours of daylight less than 8 hours. it goes up to 16 in the summer but winter it's dark and makes people want to get away and get sunshine. more than the rain and wind and everything else, it's a lack of bright light and things it sees an effective disorder and with fair skin people from uk and scott land and northeast but anybody going anywhere will struggle to get real sunshine because we have more cloud, more rain on the areas of low pressure pushing in and u k
cloudy and heading for the sun despite the warnings, you bet they will. >> thanks very much indeed. u.s. president barack obama is to visit washington state to meet families effected by last month's mudslide, at least 41 people died when the town was engulfed by mud, 30 homes were destroyed in the tragedy. further south in california a town is coming to terms with a mudslide that happened nine years ago, ten people died in 2005. and john reports geologists say it could happen again. >> it took 15 seconds for the earth to swallow the heart of the town. in january 2005, 100-year storm, 26" of rain in 16 days unloosed the hill side and mike bell remembers a mountain of earth descended on the town. >> it just breaks our heart for the people in washington. we absolutely understand how
helpless you feel knowing that relatives and friends can be buried up there and there is -- you don't know where they are. >> reporter: the slide stopped at ernie garcia's house. >> reporter: that is your house right there. >> and this one here. >> this one here. >> right up the street is this one here. >> so really these, that one is crushed here, these are gone. >> yeah, these are gone. this one here and this one here. see this big dirt here? >> uh-huh. >> bulldozers were digging and it came down to level like that. >> reporter: the landscape of buried homes and tributes to the death it bears many similarities with the deadly landslide that swept through oso, washington a month ago and the slide was forewarned and preceded by a smaller mudslide and it's almost certain to happen here again. >> that community is still at
risk for deep-seeded landslide and debris flows in mud mud slides and we cannot move them. >> reporter: they built a wall 20 feet high and 150 feet long and ten years later another landslide took down the right side of the hill and the protective wall came down like a house of cards. officials say the wall was never designed to stop a major slide. to make the hill safe, a study concluded, it would cost $56 million. >> the county has done nothing to try to fix this hill. >> so it remains as it was after the slide. >> and what the study said was this hill will fail again, it will fail in the same location and it will fail for the same reasons, the dirt is too steep for the hill side. >> reporter: residents learned if you press the government you can get a study done but you can't necessarily get the
safeguards the study recommends, so now they help himselfs. they wait, watch for heavy rains and prepare to leave in a hurry. john with al jazeera, california. >> still to come on the news hour the project in afghanistan that is helping to build a solid foundation. plus north korea's leader as you have never seen him before. and in sport find out if memphis has any chance against the mba's most valuable player. ♪
♪ welcome back, the top stories on al jazeera, south sudan leader has denied being involved in a massacre of hundreds of people in bentu and they accused him of ethnic killings and more than 200 people died in one mosque alone. the u.s. is investigating allegations that the syrian government used chemical weapons on civilians in the area earlier this month and rebels and the government blame each other for the alleged attack in hama province. the trial of al jazeera's detained journalists has resumed in cairo and mohamed and fahmy and greste are accused of a platform of the muslim brotherhood and behind bars for 116 days. now it's a 60th anniversary of the u.n. convention on the status of refugees. it's the only internationally
agreed protection for refugees. it was approved of the u.n. in 1951, and ratified in 1954. and then it was abated in 1967 to broaden its scope. it provides legal protection for refugees including the right to work, housing, education, travel documents and freedom of religion. and some critics argue the convention was written in a different era and not good enough to deal with today's crisis and we will speak to the theory who is in bangkok with the international group of tourists and is for human rights around the world and good to have you with us. this convention when it was first designed was to deal with refugees fleeing europe after the war and now of course the number of refugees around the world has exploded. isn't that putting a huge strain on the system? >> it is indeed and as you pointed out just recently the
conflict in syria has vaulted syrians to the top of the list of refugees around the world, but there is still millions of afghan people from pakistan throughout africa who are refugees. and the basic problem is that the rights of these people, the right of people to seek asylum is not being immediately, properly respected by the countries that are taking them in and that globally there is not enough help from the rich industrial countries, many of them who are essentially far away from the scenes of these conflicts and the reference g i situations to help them and as a result there are millions of people, millions of refugees who are not getting their basic human rights met. >> reporter: it's interesting you mentioned that because i was surprised to find that some of the richest countries in the world just aren't taking as many refugees as some of the poorest and lebanon taken over a million
syrians since 2011 and u.s. has taken 121. >> indeed and we just saw the u.n. agency for refugees, unhcr release fairly recently statistics on the number of asylum seekers taken in by the richest countries, the richest 44 countries and frankly it's ap pauling and embarrassing and we have seen some countries in europe starting to take in more syrians and the u.s. is now taking in more syrians but compared with the burden put on lebanon, a country which is very small, very small population, suffering itself from significant poverty and conflict, one million refugees from syria now, there is still more than 2 1/2 million afghans in iran and pakistan both of whom suffer themselves from serious internal problems. so what we don't see is enough
of a global response, notwithstanding a lot of the political posturing, we don't see enough assistance given to unhcr which is the agency that has to deal with these refugees and to provide them with assistance and not helping the countries that are dealing with these problems on their own. and so the system is really struggling right now to ensure that these millions of people are really able to live with the basic rights of human access to food, access to shelter, anyone who spent time in a refugee camp, one of the big refugee camps around the world can tell you it's about as miserable as human life can get. >> right and also we know that some of the biggest refugee populations are in asia. interesting a lot of asian countries have not signed the convention so how do you increase the political will to get richer countries to do more and get more countries to sign up to this convention?
>> well, a lot of it frankly has to come from what you're doing is to show exactly the plight of these people, these human beings who are escaping real persecution, real problems at home and are seeking asylum. they want to be refugees somewhere else. and there has to be essentially some increase in international and pressure on the government that are talking a lot about these problems, that talk a lot about syria, that talk a lot about afghanistan, but are not really doing enough to help. and what we see is countries like lebanon, iran, pakistan, really struggling to help the refugee populations that are streaming in. while industrial countries in europe and north america and in this region australia embarrassingly doing all they can to send away asylum seekers
and asylum seekers and refugee status has become a political tool. and that is really a major problem. it's important to just sit down, to show the people of the world and the industrial world in particular how much suffering refugees have to face and to start saying let's put some money on the table. not just industrial countries in syria let's look at iran and saudi arabia and katar to say let's put some money to the assistance needed for the refugees in particular the children who are streaming into the neighboring countries. but for now this is simply an issue that is used for political purposes but doesn't really get enough concrete attention and assistance. >> sammy really interesting to speak with you and thank you for that and live from bangkok there. afghanistan tries to wean itself off foreign aid one housing development is used as an
example of how the country can move forward on its own. and it still has challenges ahead and we report from kabul. >> reporter: on the outskirts of the afghan capitol a new town is emerging. this is not walls and checkpoints. in all there will be 10,000 modern apartments, a mixture of private and government subsidized. >> translator: we are proud that we are able to provide affordable accommodation. we can give employment and provide a source of investment for money that would otherwise leave the country, and we stopped illegal land grabbing and people trained for the future of afghanistan. >> reporter: the land grabbing he talks about is happening outside this vast scheme. war lords are building houses with impunity on state land. but inside the projects, a government subsidized two-room apartment can be bought for $26,000, paid in five
installments. >> there is more demand. >> more demand, more demand, yes, from people and people come here so the people are trying to have a house here. >> reporter: the appointments are sold only to those who fulfill strict government criteria which includes not already owning property and 40% cheaper than flats sold privately but there is a healthy demand for full-price properties within the project. there is a common belief among afghans that the outside world views them as totally relying on aid and this is afghan funded, designed and built and are proud of it. here they want to show the world this country has got potential. but to succeed the developers need a stable, economic and political environment. that is a challenge, as reduced foreign funding leaves the government with a $400 million
budget shortfall this year while the country also going through a long presidential campaign. bernard smith with al jazeera in kabul. >> hundreds of millions of chinese will soon join the banks of the over 60s and that is forcing the government to consider raising the retirement age. and rob mcbride reports from beijing. >> reporter: when he turns 60 in a few months from now he will say good-bye to his job as a driver but not ready to say good-bye to work entirely. with retirement set at 60 for men and 55 for women in government service, he still feels he has more to contribute than sitting at home. >> translator: i think most people of my generation think we can work for a few more years because physically we are still fine. >> reporter: we will cut out of that to go straight to kiev and ukraine where u.s. vice president biden is holding a
conference with the prime minist minister yatsenyuk. >> we celebrated easter and easter is supposed to be a season of peace, of family, at a time when we all come together. but today there are some who are trying to pull ukraine apart. ukraine is in a struggle for its very future. when i left the hotel this morning, the hotel management asked me to sign their book that they have before i left. and as i told you, mr. prime minister, i signed ukraine united, joe biden. i wish it were that easy, just signing my signature. but the truth of the matter is
we, the united states, stand with you and all the ukrainian people under ukraine united and i will say at the top we do not recognize, we do not recognize russia's actions in crimea. but today, as i said, there are some trying to pull ukraine apart. and you have, we are in a struggle for your very future. there has been a lot of talk about geo politics, about east and west. but here in ukraine people know that it's about something much more fundamental. it's not about geo politics, it's about unity. it's about independence. and at it's most basic, it's about restoring respect and dignity. for months ukrainians braved
bone-chilling cold weather and stood down snipers, bullets in the madon. and i know not every u -- ukrainian feels the same way about the madon but it's my view that all ukrainians can agree on the core idea that government exists to serve the people. the people do not exist to serve the government. and the people of ukraine, of ukraine, should have the right to choose their own future. i offer my personal sympathies to the families of those who lay down their lives for this cause. these heros remind us of the true cost of a better future and the nobility of those who reach for it. i came here to kiev to let you know, mr. prime minister, and
every ukrainian know that the united states stands with you and is working to support all ukrainians in seeking a better future. the road ahead obviously as we discussed at length both here and in washington, mr. prime minister, is difficult. and you should know, as i told you at the outset, you will not walk this road alone. we will walk it with you. today the prime minister and i talked about the work before us. we discussed the acute problem, the most acute matter facing the ukrainian people, the ongoing threat to their country's sovereignty and its territorial integri integrity. i'll say it again, ukraine is and must remain one country.
from lavive to arkive down to the black sea, one country. one united ukraine and the united states supports a strong united ukraine with productive and peaceful relationships with both the east and the west, with both russia and europe. and that's a goal that i know you share, mr. prime minister. but no nation, no nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation. no nation has that right. and we will never recognize russia's illegal occupation of crimea and neither will the world. as was demonstrated by the overwhelming vote that took place in the security council in the general assembly. no nation should threaten its
neighbors by massing troops along the border. we call on russia to pull back these forces. no nation should stoke instability in its neighbor's country. we call on russia to stop supporting men hiding behind masks and unmarked uniforms sewing unrest in ukraine and we have been clear that more provocative behavior by russia will lead to more costs and to greater isolation. the united states has demonstrated as ukraine has and it supports diplomatic efforts to deescalate this situation. mr. prime minister, your government is taking important steps to uphold the agreement
reaches in geneva just last week. including putting forward a broad bill for amnesty who gives us amnesty for those who give up buildings and their weapons. you have also sent senior representatives to the east to help the osce move the process forward. you met with the delegation as i did yesterday. we've heard a lot from russia officials in the past few days but now it's time for russia to stop talking and start acting. act on the commitments that they made. to get pro-russian separatists to vacate buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty and address their grievances politically. to get out on the record calling for the release of all illegally
occupied buildings. that's not a hard thing to do. and the senior russian officials to work with the osce in the east. these are commitments made. they should be fulfilled. we need to see these kinds of concrete steps, we need to see them without delay. we will not allow this to become an open-ended process. time is short. and in which to make progress. in this time of testing, the instability in the east is only one of several that challenges ukraine and the government must confront. it also has challenges in politics, economics and in energy. today the prime minister briefed me on preparations for the presidential election on march
the 25th and his aspirations for constitutional reform and a presentation on may the 15th. the united states, for this election, is providing substantial assistance to make sure that there are clean and closely monitored so that nobody on the 26th of may can question their legitimacy. i'm encouraged and i'm genuinely encrucialinged to see so many people in the east rejecting violence, choosing the battle box over bullets to determine ukraine's future. and i was pleased to hear about ukraine's significant progress on constitution reform and
decentralizati decentralization. this may be the most important election in the history of ukraine. this is a chance to make good on the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of ukrainians east and west and every part of this country. for ukraine, that empowers local governance and respects and protects different linguistic and cultural traditions but fundamentally holds together as a single state, united and sovereign with such possibilities ahead, mr. prime minister. ukrainians has made clear after staggering public theft, not debt, but theft, they will no longer accept corruption from
public officials. your former leader had to run in hiding for fear that after everyone saw the excesses to which his theft had taken him and others. the fact of the matter is i'm as presumption to tell a man what this country thinks but i'm of the view that ukrainians east, north are sick and tired of the corruption. mr. prime minister, the new law and government procedures, or procurement i should say, represents a first important step in dealing with this. the united states is ready to help ukraine take further steps to build transparent institutions, to win back the trust of the people and just as corruption can have no place in
ukraine neither can anti-semitism or bigotry. let me say that again. neither can anti-semitism or bigotry. no place, none, zero. the united states condemns in the strongest possible terms all threats of the tax against ukrainian jewish communities as well as roma and others as you do as well, i know, mr. prime minister. mr. prime minister, you and i also discussed the efforts to stabilize and strength enukraine economy and last month we signed a bill proposed by administration for a $1 billion loan guaranty agreement with ukraine. the united states has also been a driving force behind the imf, working to provide a multi-billion dollar package to help ukraine address the
immediate needs and get ukraine on the stronger path. i expect the imf package to be finalized imminently and i congratulate you and your government here in the ukraine for having made the difficult and they are difficult, very difficult economic reforms to get this done. the prime minister and i also spoke about energy. and american team is currently in the region working with ukraine and its neighbors to increase ukraine's short-term energy supply. and i have been on the telephone with many of your neighbors as you know talking about the way to increase that supply. and more teams are coming to support long-term improvements so that no nation, let me be precise, so that russia, can no longer use energy as a political weapon against ukraine and
europe. with the right investments and the right choices ukraine can reduce its energy dependence and increase its energy security and we will stand with you to help in every way we can for you to accomplish that goal. finally, even as we pursue diplomacy we are also providing nonlethal support to ukraine security services to deal with the challenges that have arisen. we are providing communications gear, bomb disposal technology, transportation and engineering commitment for ukraine to protect against infiltrators and deal with explosive threats. and our security support now total is nearly $20 million. mr. prime minister, i know we will be talking again and i'm confident you will continue to
be as consistent and persistent as you have been in order to bring about the kind of change that is needed. we will stand with you. it's been inspiring to watch you and your fellow countrymen for all the obstacles placed in your way you continue to move forward with resolve, genuine resolve. and i'm proud to affirm that you do so with friendship, partnership, and strong support from the united states of america that will not go away. god bless your country and god willing we will, in fact, see a much better day for your country. >> thank you, mr. vice president. let me speak in my native langua language. >> translator: mr. vice president, between our countr s
countries, we have a strategic partnership agreement between our countries and this agreement is not just in the paper. it's also in deeds. the aim of this agreement is the development of free democratic and stable ukrainian state. the idea, the objective of this agreement is our joint work and to supply peace and stability in the continent. and also confirmation of a strategic relationship between the u.s. and ukraine. we value the position of u.s. and that support that people of ukraine receive during the last several months. people of ukraine who vote for
his right to govern in its own country. people of ukraine, people of ukraine continue fighting for their rights, democracy and for ukraine to be a prosperous country. we also would like to thank u.s. administration, the congress and senate for the billion dollars of u.s. dollars as a financial aid for ukrainian economy. ukraine adopted a string of complex but necessary measures, decisions, so that older, financial institutions and relationship will be renewed. and when we talk about the park
>> the united states stands with you and is working to support all ukrainians in seeking a better future. >> vice president joe biden not only pledging support for ukraine, but offering $50 million in u.s. financial aid to help with upcoming elections there. >> everybody's just trying to move forward, but it will be difficult, because everything has changed so much. >> president obama to get a firsthand look at t